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UC and payments into Credit Union accounts


BC Welfare Rights
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The Brunswick Centre, Kirklees & Calderdale

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Joined: 22 July 2013

I’m not sure I fully understand this so would be grateful if anyone else can explain what the problem is and whether it is an isolated issue or systemic problem?

One of our local Credit Unions is saying that when DWP make UC payments to a claimant it does not go directly into their account as the DWP does not add the BACS reference to the payment. Therefore, the CU cannot identify who the payment is for and puts the payments into a holding account. The claimant then has to ring the UC Service Centre, get the BACS reference (a mixture of numbers and letters that always contains ‘DWP UC’ somewhere in it) and the exact amount and date of payment and give it to the CU. The CU can then identify the payment and put it into the claimants account. My first couple of attempts to get this BACS number were rebuffed with the line that ‘no such number exists’.

The claimants online account does not give the exact amount of payment. E.g. in my client’s case, £211.27 just shows as £211 on the online account (which is no use to the CU). The supposed date of payment shown on the online account is also not always reliable, apparently.

In the client’s case I have been trying to entangle for the last week or so, the Service Centre was insisting that payments had been made on three occasions and returned by the CU. The CU says it never returns payments, it just keeps them in a holding account and that UC are always ‘lying’ about payments. Eventually someone at the Service Centre checked the Central Banking Index and admitted that the payment had not actually been made, although it was showing up as being paid on the part of the UC computer that the workers look at.

Is this a one off or are there problems with UC being paid into CU accounts and if the latter, has anyone found a way round it?